Department of Botany
The faculties of the Department, most of which are trained in abroad, are involved in different research projects on different branches of Plant Science and also engaged in collaborative research with other universities and organizations. Different research projects have already been carried out through collaboration of different Governmental and Non-Governmental organizations/agencies including the Ministry of Science and Technology, University Grants Commission, JU Research Grant, Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), DAAD (Germany) and World Bank etc. The research activities of the Department conducted in its seven laboratories and research facilities are briefly described below.
Researchers of the Laboratory of Microbiology have been doing works on a few aspects of Microbiology. So far, Microbiological quality of potable and surface water, soil microorganisms and their activities including mitigation of arsenic, microorganisms of food and biocontrol of plant pathogens are the broad aspects of research of this laboratory. However, Biological Nitrogen Fixation by Azospirillum and Azotobacter has specifically received much attention. The notable achievements are the findings of the pictures of distributional pattern of different species of Azospirillum in various types of habitats in Bangladesh and also of the nitrogen fixing potential and the activity of these species in promoting growth and yield of rice and wheat. In this laboratory, Azospirillum amazonense and Azospirillum halopraeferens have been isolated for the first time from Bangladesh soil.
Mycology, Plant Pathology and Crop Protection
The dimension of its activities ranges from viral, bacterial and fungal disease diagnosis to identification of the pathogens with reference to crops and forest plants. Seed Pathology is a major area of research in the laboratory. Disease management with special reference to biological control and IPM is also included in the research objectives of the laboratory. Taxonomy of higher fungi, identification, and characterization of mushroom and improvement of mushroom culture technique has been developed. New research dimension has been extended in the field of Plant Nematology, where identification and characterization of plant parasitic nematodes associated with soil and plant parts and their sustainable management will be focused. Currently, laboratory is focusing on Fungal and Bacterial DNA barcoding to identify fungi and bacteria.
Plant Systematics and Biodiversity
Floristic studies and assessment of plant diversity in different areas, reconstruction of phylogeny and solving taxonomic problems of the Angiosperms of Bangladesh, development of a local herbarium, plant conservation, and publication of local Floras are the main objectives of this laboratory. The major achievements of this laboratory include the development of a herbarium housing a huge plant samples of Angiosperms collected from different areas of Bangladesh, floristic surveys and assessments of plant diversity in different areas of the country including the Sundarbans Mangrove Forest, detail taxonomic study on Asteraceae of Eastern and Central regions and Zingiberaceae of this country, Pteridophytes of Mymensingh district, management and development of a Plant Conservatory and implementation of green-belt project in JU campus etc.Incourse of further activities of this lab, assessment of the prospects of biodiversity conservation in the homesteads, publication of the Flora of Sundarbans, Flora of Narsingdi District and Flora of Savar-Ashulia region and setting up the facilities for DNA data collection from higher plants and phylogenetic reconstruction will be focused on.
Plant Tissue Culture
From the very inception of the development of Plant Tissue Culture laboratory in this Department, researches have been carrying out not only on the theoretical aspects for scientific paper publications but on the applied aspects also for agro-economic development. From this laboratory protocols for micropropagation of various medicinal, spices, fruits, timber and ornamental plants have been developed and published in different peer reviewed journals and presented in different international symposia. The break-through of this laboratory is the development of high frequency regeneration protocols for jackfruit, pineapple, banana, Rauvolfia sp. and bamboos for commercial cultivation. Besides, the release of somaclonal variants of Poisettia and blackpepper from this laboratory can be mentionable.
Plant Physiology and Biochemistry
The Laboratory is equipped with modern instruments with the fund provided by Ministry of Science and Technology. The research areas cover Crop Physiology, Environmental Plant Physiology and Enzyme technology. Enzyme technology is the main laboratory based area of research. Isolation, extraction and purification techniques of different enzymes from Mushroom and other plant sources have been developed in this laboratory. Researches on sodium chloride salinity stress on different crops, effect of different growth regulators as well as macro- and micronutrients on growth and yield of different crops are carried out in this the laboratory in MS and Ph.D. level. Effect of Arsenic on Plant’s growth and development is also investigated in this laboratory.
Plant Ecology and Environment
Main objective of this laboratory is to conduct research on Plant Ecology and Environment. Fundamental and applied ecological research works have been running on in this laboratory mainly, focusing on different natural, homestead, and mangrove forest and aquatic ecosystems of Bangladesh. Remarkable research output of this laboratory include, detailed study on Phytosociological and soil nutritional assessment of Sal forests and Sitakunda Eco-park, aquatic phytodiversity and water quality assessment of Kaptai Lake, Sundarban Mangrove forest health status assessment etc. Research on environmental pollution of riverine ecosystems is also a recent emphasis of this laboratory. In depth research will be prioritized on of country’s important ecosystem health and environmental impact assessment in the days to come.
Plant Breeding and Crop Improvement
This laboratory focuses on the research highlighting various crop improvement programs, through conventional as well as advanced methods, including development of desirable variety, conservation of diverse germplasm, performance of crossing in a suitable fashion and introgression of promising traits inside the local varieties for transferring resistant gene and so on.
Photochemistry and Herbal Medicine
Photochemistry and Herbal medicine laboratory initiated as a research facility in the department procuring the research grants from the Ministry of Science and Technology. Till now, quite a good number of MS thesis work and research projects have been successfully completed from this laboratory. The laboratory offers extraction, phytochemical screening, isolation, purification and structure elucidation of pure compounds from plant source. The laboratory work also includes ethnomedicinal survey on medicinal plants as well as to investigate the bioactivities namely, cytotoxicity, antibacterial and antioxidant activity of the plant/plant-part extract.
Cytogenetics is a comparatively young research field of this Department where pre-fixation methods, fixation method, karyotype analysis, karyomorphological analysis etc. of several plant materials have been developed. Future plan is to establish the DNA based specific chromosome banding technique, fluorescent chromosome banding technique, RAPD analysis, and FISH technique.
Molecular biology is a comparatively new research field of this department. Present research focus of this field is antibiotic resistance, quality assessment of food and agricultural products, biocontrol and environmental pollution control by molecular and conventional techniques.
The survey results on Research and Extension Services show the views of the respondents on six evaluation areas, viz., whether the Department has a research and development policy, Mechanism exists for engaging the students in research and development, teachers always take initiative to hunt research fund for smooth running of the research, and research outputs are regularly published in peer reviewed journal, research findings in the form of thesis, publications and monographs are properly used in current teaching-learning, and the department has a community service policy.